External forces backing Boko Haram – Irish Envoy


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The Irish High Commissioner to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, said on Thursday that the Boko Haram crisis has festered because of the country’s failure to tackle its local crisis.

The envoy noted that as a result of this, external forces had taken advantage of it to advance their own agenda by backing the sect.

 However, Hoy, while delivering a lecture at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Thursday, said that Nigeria could learn from the Northern Ireland’s experience in its attempt to overcome the crises facing the country.

The envoy said despite the crises facing the country, “Nigeria still remains a country with a bright future,” adding that “there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

He spoke on the theme, “Road to Peace –Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process.”

Though he acknowledged that the Nigerian situation was more complex than that of Northern Ireland, the envoy said it did not mean nothing could not be done to change the situation.

He argued that the longer “you leave something, the more complex it becomes,” adding that if Boko Haram had been tackled in 2009, it would not have become complex and widespread now.

He said, “In 2009, Nigerians knew who the Boko Haram actors were in Borno; you knew who to talk to but that did not happen. Now, the vacuum has been taken over by others, including bandits and external people who are not Nigerians at all and it has become complex.

“The current conflict in the North-East arguably began when a local conflict within Borno State which could have been addressed better at that time but it was not well handled, most of us will agree with that.

“The conflict now spread to the entire North-East. It has become complex and has created a vacuum for others to exploit. These external forces driven by wider agenda are keen to manipulate local unrest.”


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